Educators nationwide are forging their way in a landscape shaped by pandemic-induced disruptions. Training resources designed to spark new thinking often feel outdated – especially if they were published before 2020. To address this need, the Center on Reinventing Public Education at Arizona State University and the Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University have produced teaching case studies that showcase the successes and challenges of high schools improving or redesigning the student experience.
Our three new case studies of high school innovation offer authentic dilemmas from schools we’ve researched and leaders we’ve interviewed. A narrative of each school and accompanying questions are designed to generate grounded, in-depth discussions of key issues related to innovation and equity in high school education. Each teaching case is intended for groups of leaders and design teams learning about or engaged in high school reinvention.
Teachers, school staff, and design teams can work through the following cases. Use the links to download each case or download all three:
- Different choices, equal chances: Helping high school students achieve success on their own terms. This case wrestles with how high schools can expand students’ postsecondary horizons while remaining responsive to their values and interests–especially if those values differ significantly from those of the adults who support them.
- From enrollment to completion: Supporting equitable outcomes in challenging coursework. This case describes one high school’s outreach and support strategies for increasing underrepresented students’ access to challenging courses, and concludes with important questions for those focused on ensuring that equitable access results in equitable outcomes.
- Is a diploma enough? Setting ambitious visions for success in high schools. This case grapples with what’s needed to achieve a higher bar for students who often just want to get high school over with—but whose success beyond the K-12 system depends on life skills, supportive relationships, and concrete postsecondary plans in addition to a diploma.
These case studies are part of Think Forward New England, a project launched in 2020 to study and support pandemic-era innovations that deliver what students and families need and want from high school. Look for three additional teaching cases coming later this year.